Hosting a lecture by a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship is an inspiring, healing experience for everyone involved. Below are tools, resources, and ideas for your branch church or society to think through as you prepare to host a lecture.
To get started preparing for a lecture, it’s helpful to consider the by-laws that establish Christian Science lectures in the Church Manual, pages 93 to 96. Here are two excerpts:
Also, don’t miss reading the two latest articles about Christian Science lectures published in The Christian Science Journal:
- “Emancipating the race—our collective purpose in Christian Science lectures”
- “Christian Science lectures—the effect of the Comforter"
- "Christian Science lectures: Connecting our communities with a new set of tools for change"
- It's highly recommended to begin, before doing anything else, by thinking about the following texts, and discussing them with the team involved in sponsoring / coordinating the lecture:
- Church Manual by-laws about lectures (pp. 93–96)
- Letter from Mrs. Eddy to the Board of Lectureship printed in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, pp. 248-249
- Recent articles about lectures on JSH-Online (see the links above)
- It’s also recommended that you ask all the church members for prayerful support of the lecture activity early on in the preparations, and to continue that kind of support all year long!
- Praying together as a church to see humankind’s natural receptivity to the Comforter, the leavening activity of divine Truth in our lives, can really open the way forward in planning the lecture, which is an expression of Truth that brings healing within the church and community.
- A metaphysical preparatory meeting for your members can be very productive. You can discuss with the lecturer the best way for her or him to participate in the meeting: in person, by phone, or video call.
- A fruitage meeting with the membership after the lecture can be an opportunity to witness together the continued healing work taking place. Please share with the lecturer, too! Regardless of whether a specific meeting takes place, your on-going prayers and care for those who came to the lecture or were touched by it in some way, are extremely useful and fruitful.
- What kind of audience would you like to reach with your lecture (general, classroom, college organization, youth groups, jails and prisons, Christian Science care facilities, health or book fairs, interfaith groups, etc.)? What are ways to effectively reach (before) and follow up (after the lecture) with this audience? Here's an informational flier to share about classroom lectures.
- Lecture titles can be found at Search lectures by title for your prayerful selection. Lecturers’ biographical information and their calendar of scheduled lectures are on their profile pages at Meet the Lecturers. Out of consideration for the lecturers, please only contact one at a time.
- Lecturers are eager to know and discuss with you the goals for the event - what you feel God calling you to accomplish this time, the location and date, any charge for attending, etc. The initial conversation is a good time to ask about the lecturer’s fee and possible expenses, as well as finding out what the lecturer will need: e.g., table/podium, type of sound system and microphone, flipchart, chair, etc. The lecturer will appreciate knowing about any new developments, concerns, or needs that come up during planning. They’re praying with you every day!
- When selecting a location for your event(s), it can be important to visit the facility, assess how easy it will be for attendees to find the location and the room within the building, and what kind of parking accommodations are available. How might attendees find the location via public transportation? Does the facility allow signs or sandwich boards at entrances? What kind of sound system is available? Is there any way the lecture activity can be a direct support to the facility / organization in the process?
- If not already provided at the venue, renting a portable sound system can be very useful. Make sure to test the wireless microphone before the day of the lecture and bring extra microphone batteries!
- A local CSO (Christian Science Organization) at a nearby college or university may want to be involved. Perhaps CSO members might promote the lecture on campus or even schedule a lecture of their own while the lecturer is in town. Other branch churches or societies in your area / region may also be benefitted by knowing well in advance of your plan to bring in a lecturer, so that they might plan their own event and benefit from sharing the travel costs.
- What literature do you plan to sell or give away at the lecture? There may be bulk rates for buying multiple copies of the Bible, Science and Health, and periodicals through the Reading Room or by contacting email@example.com.
- The lecturer will happily work with you in advance of the lecture day to develop an appropriate introduction.
- Many attendees are so grateful to have the opportunity to buy or receive copies of the Bible and Science and Health, or other materials like Christian Science periodicals after lectures. (We recommend that if copies of Science and Health will be available to have copies of the Bible be available as well. Some people don’t have one, and it’s natural for our Christian denomination to make them available along with Science and Health.)
- If you would like to share a specific article from one of the periodicals, check the Permissions section in the issue. Usually, up to 100 reprints of any article are allowed without permission. All credits must be preserved. If you want to make more than 100 copies or need more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org for permission.
- Will there be handouts about local Christian Science resources: information about the church, Reading Room, ChristianScience.com, the branch church website, and future lectures? Many attendees who are new to Christian Science appreciate knowing how they can contact the branch church with questions or research more on-line at home.
- Another option is to provide a guest sign-in sheet, for perpetuating contact with new attendees.
There are plenty of publicity and advertising options in each community. Feel free to contact Tara Talbot in the Board of Lectureship office to discuss some ideas: email@example.com or +1 617 450 3428. Tara can also help contact local media to set up interviews with the lecturer before the event.
Some lecturers have publicity materials already available to share with branches. If you decide to design your own, please work with the lecturer directly for their approval on wording and design before printing, publishing, or distributing anything.
On the day of the lecture, there may be many logistics to keep in mind. Active prayerful support for the day will set everything on the right track, keeping focus on the one and only true cause of all that is good, embracing the whole community in the divine message, and expressing the natural love that results from this focus sincerely with every attendee and passer-by.
The following are suggestions that have proved beneficial reminders. It may be helpful to have church members assigned to:
- Prepare and close the meeting facility.Transport the lecturer to and from the event.
- Usher at entrances to the facility, at the parking area, and even at the closest public transportation points. Perhaps even hand out fliers and invite people to attend, while ushering at these posts.
- Thoroughly test the sound system with the lecturer.
- Provide child care.
- Staff a literature table.
- Introduce the lecturer with an introduction approved by the lecturer.
- Pay the lecturer their lecture fee.
- While the event may have concluded, the sharing and healing continues!
- Consider following up with new visitors on your list, or with other members of the community with whom you were in touch during your lecture preparations, in order to develop and nurture ongoing relationships.
- So the whole membership can rejoice together, it might be valuable to hold a fruitage meeting and to share that fruitage with the lecturer.
- With all the prayer, planning, and love expressed, you’ve laid a strong foundation for the blessings to come in your ongoing church activities, including the next lecture! Thank you!